You are more and more reshaping in San Sebastián your old and very well established annual event into a brand new, permanent structure. Film school, production center, launchpad for Basque as well as for international projects etc. How is this structure evolving, and which future will it have?
It is true that every year we introduce changes to the Festival and that this Festival has many new aspects with respect to the one existing when we took over its management seven years ago. But everything changes very rapidly in the audiovisual world, and we festivals have to reposition ourselves and adapt our editorial lines. We are working in different directions complementary to one another: on the one hand, we continue our commitment to relations with Latin America; on the other, we are pledged to European films made in non-hegemonic languages and have created a work in progress, called «Glocal in Progress», to accommodate them; this year, for the first time, we have a workshop, named «Zinemaldia & Technology», dedicated to new technologies organised with the support of Petronor, Tecnalia and Tabakalera. We also dedicate increasingly more efforts to training and new talent. Not only thanks to the Nest Film Students meeting or the New Directors section, but also to an important presence of first and second films in the official competition, and to participating in the new film school, the Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola. We are convinced that festivals like ours must extend their period of work and impact to continue throughout the whole year. That’s why, in collaboration with Tabakalera-International Centre for Contemporary Culture, and with the Filmoteca Vasca, we have created the aforementioned school, and participate in its management. We have also created the Ikusmira Berriak (New Approaches) residencies for film projects.
What do you think will happen in world’s cinema after Netflix, Amazon, Sky, Apple etc ?
I sincerely don’t believe that there will be any major upsets. The audiovisual world will continue to evolve and will adapt to the new electronic mechanisms, to the new methods of production and exhibition. The big platforms will evolve, as will the film festivals and industry. I am convinced that this evolution will bring better times. I’m an optimist.
Why Italian movies are usually absent from your Festival?
Sometimes there are films in parallel sections, but it is extremely difficult for them to compete given our proximity to the Venice festival. It’s understandable that an Italian film which has the possibility to go to a festival of the importance of the said Italian Mostra does not consider other types of possibilities.
Are Italian movies still distributed and appreciated in Spain?
It is true that Italian cinema is coming to our screens to a lesser extent than it did in previous decades. However, some films still arrive from already-known, big-name directors, and they tend to be well received by the critics.
Which will be the most interesting and innovative events at your forthcoming Festival?
I think that, besides the film screenings, the most important Festival event is an industry activity: the Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum, which gains strength every year and where the participating projects are of rising importance and quality. But other activities will also be very important, such as Glocal in Progress, Films in Progress, Nest Film Students, and the recently created Zinemaldia & Technology workshop.